Post tenebras lux

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Post tenebras lux is a Latin phrase translated as Light After Darkness. It appears as Post tenebras spero lucem ("After darkness, I hope for light") in the Vulgate version of Job 17:12.[1]

Post Tenebras Lux in the Seal of the Canton of Geneva.

The phrase came to be adopted as the Calvinist motto, and was subsequently adopted as the motto of the entire Protestant Reformation.[2] It is used by John Calvin's adopted city of Geneva, Switzerland on their coins. As a mark of its role in the Calvinist movement, the motto is engraved on the Reformation Wall, in Geneva, and the Huguenot Monument, in Franschhoek, South Africa.

Title page of first edition of Part I of Don Quixote (1605), featuring the motto Post tenebras spero lucem on the strapwork around the central device

In the form Post tenebras spero lucem, the motto appears in Part II of Cervantes' Don Quixote, and features on the title pages of the first editions of both Parts I and II, published by Juan de la Cuesta in 1605 and 1615 respectively.

Post tenebras lux was formerly the state motto of Chile, before being replaced by the Spanish Por la razón o la fuerza (By reason or by force).

It is/was the motto of:


  1. ^ Job 17:11–13:
    11 dies mei transierunt cogitationes meae dissipatae sunt torquentes cor meum
    12 noctem verterunt in diem et rursum post tenebras spero lucem
    13 si sustinuero infernus domus mea est in tenebris stravi lectulum meum
  2. ^ "History of the Reformation" (PDF). Retrieved 3 March 2007. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)